Connections 2025: Routes 383 & 392 Update

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Long-term planning can be tricky, because it requires balancing the needs of multiple constituencies that change and evolve over time. This isn’t the case just in transit of course, but it’s something we run into all the time. The most recent example is our Connections 2025 Transit Plan, which has seen changes to some of the proposals that were included in the approved plan. That’s common with bus network redesigns.

We wanted to share with the community one of these changes, since we’ve heard concerns regarding the potential elimination of service on Route 392 north of Braker in Northeast Austin.

What was the original proposal? The approved Connections 2025 plan proposed combining Routes 383 and 392 into an east-west route operating from Lakeline Mall along Jollyville Rd. and Braker Ln. to Dessau Rd. Buses were proposed to operate every 30 minutes instead of every 35 – 40 minutes. Route 383 would no longer serve the North Lamar Transit Center, and the area north of Braker served by Route 392 would be modified into a Mobility Innovation Zone.

What is a Mobility Innovation Zone? Mobility Innovation Zones are areas where Capital Metro wants to look into mobility options other than a 40-foot bus by using various pilot projects.  That’s because the land use and road network in these parts of town make it very difficult to provide cost-effective service with a big bus. The pilot projects would likely leverage emerging technology and transportation options, whether that’s an on-demand service like Pickup , flex routes, partnerships with TNCs or something else, we’re not sure. Because these technologies and tools are emerging, we’re still exploring how the pilots would function. Staff will be taking the next 12 months to develop the pilot projects with community input before requesting board approval. When approving Connections 2025, the board instructed staff that fixed-route service north of Dessau must be retained until the Mobility Innovation Zone pilot projects have been developed.

How has the proposal been modified? In keeping with the board’s directive to maintain fixed-route service, the proposed Route 383 would travel from Lakeline Station along Jollyville Rd. and Braker Ln. When the bus reaches Dessau, it will travel along Dessau, Shropshire, Thompkins, Yeager and Parmer before ending at the Tech Ridge Park & Ride. This proposed service would operate every 30 minutes and remain in place until a Mobility Innovation Zone pilot project is ready for implementation sometime in 2019.

What’s next?  As with any Connections 2025 proposal, this modification will require public outreach and board approval before it can be implemented. We will seek public comment this fall and ask board of directors to vote on the changes toward the end of the year. Changes would be implemented in June 2018. More information about all the upcoming changes and ways to provide feedback will be available shortly after Labor Day.

Connections 2025: Online Survey Closing March 6!

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Haven’t completed our transit survey? Share feedback before March 6! 
Capital Metro is rethinking transit through a comprehensive service plan, Connections 2025, and we need your help! Complete our online survey before March 6 and share your feedback and suggestions.
ONLINE WEBINAR
Weren’t able to make it to one of our open houses, but still want to participate?View a recording of our online webinar featuring project information presented by staff. Share your feedback by emailing Feedback@Connections2025.org or call us at 512-369-6000.

Continue reading “Connections 2025: Online Survey Closing March 6!”

Second MetroRapid Line Set to Launch August 24

metrorapid-3videoAug. 18, 2014 – Capital Metro is putting the final touches on its new MetroRapid 803 service as it prepares for the official launch on Sunday, Aug. 24. The new route will offer riders frequent service along Burnet, Guadalupe, Lavaca and South Lamar, from The Domain to Westgate Mall via UT and downtown. The service will be introduced as a part of the agency’s Fall Service Changes.

Service will run weekdays from 5 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

 

The new 15-mile route will make stops at 34 new stations, and 12 existing ones shared with Route 801 in downtown Austin along the Guadalupe and Lavaca corridors. All MetroRapid stations have real-time digital signage that show arrival times of the next two vehicles, canopies, bench seating and lighting.

Riders will be able to access many well-known destinations when service begins, including the UT Research Campus (JJ Pickle), The Domain, Central Market North, Seton Medical Center, the museum district, ACC Rio Grande, downtown Austin, the University of Texas main campus, the State Capitol, Barton Springs/Zach Scott Theater, Seaholm, Alamo Drafthouse Lamar Square and Westgate Mall.

 

home-page-banner.v2MetroRapid Route 803 will offer the same features and benefits as the current MetroRapid Route 801 service, including:

 

– Increased frequency

– New vehicles

– Free onboard Wi-Fi

– Mobile App

– Transit Priority Lanes

– Unique Stations

– 3-position Bike Racks

– Traffic Signal Priority

A single ride on MetroRapid costs $1.50. Riders can also choose to purchase a Day Pass for $3.00, 7-Day Pass for $13.50 or 31-Day Pass for $49.50. UT and ACC students and staff, and also city of Austin employees, ride for free with valid ID due to existing partnerships with Capital Metro.

 

More information about MetroRapid can be found at capmetro.org/metrorapid, on Facebook at facebook.com/capitalmetro and Twitter attwitter.com/CapMetroATX. Riders can also sign up on the agency’s website to receive email alerts about Capital Metro service.

 

 

Summer 2014: Proposed Changes to Service

June2014-Proposed-Service-Change-Web-BannerBy Celso Baez, Community Involvement Specialist

We’ve recently heard some feedback from our riders about our proposal to move MetroBus routes currently operating on Congress Avenue onto the Guadalupe/Lavaca corridor. Most of us have experienced congestion on Congress Avenue, whether on a bus or in a private automobile. Sometimes it’s faster to walk to get through downtown due to all the traffic, especially during a special event.

Why are we considering route changes on Congress?

Congress Avenue has several challenges that hamper safety, bus operations, and the comfort of our customers. Our goals for improving downtown service are based on Service Plan 2020, our long range plan for improving service.

Angled Parking

Angled parking and chronic congestion along the Congress Avenue corridor make it challenging for our vehicles to operate safely. Safety is our number one priority at Capital Metro, and moving most MetroBus routes off of Congress Avenue and onto Guadalupe and Lavaca streets would make service safer for our customers by reducing collisions with private automobiles.

june-atstopFrequent Stops

Many of our customers have experienced the high number of stops on Congress that make it difficult for our vehicles to pass—leading to a wall of buses slowly moving down the street. By moving all remaining routes, except Route 100 MetroAirport Flyer, from Congress Avenue, Colorado and Brazos streets onto the Guadalupe and Lavaca corridor, local service will be able to move through downtown Austin several minutes faster, utilizing the transit priority lanes. In addition, transfers would be made easier while improving connections with MetroRapid and MetroRail.

Ridership

Approximately 13,000 bus passengers travel to downtown Austin on a daily basis. About 80 percent of those passengers transfer to another route. Downtown Austin is the final destination for the remaining 3,200 daily passengers (20 percent), with about half of those coming from commuter or flyer routes. A large number of commuter and flyer route customers walk from Guadalupe Street / Lavaca Street to Congress Avenue. A large number of routes through downtown Austin are “through-routed”, i.e. they do not terminate in downtown but continue from one end of downtown to another. Approximately 3,600 daily passengers travel through downtown on a through-routed bus. Moving most MetroBus routes onto the Guadalupe/Lavaca corridors would make the majority of downtown trips easier for our customers. We realize that for some, walks would be made longer; however Capital Metro has tried mitigating the impact by realigning routes 7, 20, and 17 to better accommodate our riders. With projects like Austin B-cycle, which provides a network of 24 hour/day, on demand bicycle stations to the urban core and the City of Austin’s Great Streets initiative which aims at improving the quality of downtown streets and sidewalks, walks to Congress Avenue from Guadalupe and Lavaca streets and vice versa are much more pleasant.

Special Event Detours

We all know how congested Congress Avenue becomes during a special event. Special event detours significantly disrupt transit service for our customers who rely on our system to get to work, school, and other priority destinations. Operating all local routes on the G/L corridor would reduce special events detours; alleviate congestion on Congress Avenue, thereby making service more efficient. This was evidenced by how successful service operated during SXSW and Formula One, when Capital Metro moved most MetroBus routes on the G/L corridor.

Stop Amenities

Historic and landmark preservation measures on the Congress Avenue corridor prevent Capital Metro from enhancing our existing bus stops. While the sidewalk is wide, there are no additional passenger amenities we are capable of providing. Moving most MetroBus routes onto G/L would allow us to add amenities such as benches and shelters otherwise not possible on Congress Avenue, providing a better customer experience for our riders.

forumHow to Share Your Feedback

Please keep giving us your feedback and commenting on our proposals—we want to hear from you! All riders are encouraged to participate in our public involvement opportunities listed below. Capital Metro will conduct a series of public meetings, and a public hearing. See our service change webpage for schedule details. Become involved, join the conversation and comment on specific proposals in efforts to provide effective services that meet the Austin area’s transportation needs!

View the recent webinar:

Share your comments and send any questions to feedback@capmetro.org.

Upcoming Public Involvement Dates:

Public Meetings

March 4, 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.

Capital Metro Transit Store, 209 W. 9th | Served by all downtown Local bus routes, MetroRapid 801

March 5, 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.

Capital Metro Transit Store, 209 W. 9th | Served by all downtown Local bus routes, MetroRapid 801

March 6, 3:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Capital Metro Transit Store, 209 W. 9th | Served by all downtown Local bus routes, MetroRapid 801

Online Discussion Forum

ideas.capmetro.org

Email

Feedback@capmetro.org

Social Media 

Facebook | Twitter

Public Hearing

March 17, 12:00 noon

Capital Metro Headquarters, 2910 E. 5th St. | Served by Local routes 17, 300

For more information on the proposed summer 2014 changes, including maps of the proposed areas, visit capmetro.org/summer2014. Details can also be found by viewing this video or by calling the GO Line at 512-474-1200.

New MetroRapid Service Kicks-Off Today

Today marked the first day of the new MetroRapid service!

Vehicles started rolling out into service early this morning and we have over 200 employee volunteers at stations and onboard this week helping you navigate the new service.

MetroRapid’s new amenities:

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  • Frequent service
  • Fewer stops
  • New vehicles
  • Wi-Fi
  • Mobile app
  • Traffic priority lanes
  • Unique stations
  • 3-position bike rack
  • Traffic signal priority technology

As you prepare for tomorrow’s workday/school day commute, make sure you’re up-to-date on all the recent changes, effective today at Capital Metro:

New MetroRapid service, Route 801

New fare system

Changes to some bus routes

New mobile app

Check out some of today’s MetroRapid Day #1 action!

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1st MetroRapid vehicle rolls out into town
Cyclist tries out the new 3-bike rack
Cyclist tries out the new 3-bike rack

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One of the 200 volunteers out at MetroRapid stations this week
One of the 200 volunteers out at MetroRapid stations this week

Thank you for riding Capital Metro!

New MetroBike Shelters Opening Early 2014

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Capital Metro is building 6 new MetroBike Shelters to provide more secure overnight or daily bike parking at major access points to bus and train routes.

Like the MetroBike Shelter already open at Kramer Station, these new shelters will make it safer and more secure to use transit without the having to take a bike onto a bus or train.

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The new MetroBike Shelters are being constructed at:

  • Tech Ridge Park & Ride
  • Lakeline Station
  • Highland Station
  • MLK Jr. Station
  • Plaza Saltillo Station
  • South Congress Transit Center

For an introductory cost of only $30/year, you can purchase a MetroBike Access Card online to be mailed out within the week. Cards are valid beginning the month of purchase. This card will access any of the MetroBike Shelters around town. Daily card access extends from 5:00AM to 1:30AM.

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Protect your bike from the elements

Once inside, the cyclist locks their bike to a rack with their own bike lock. The shelter provides protection from the sun and rain, and provides a higher level of security with 24-hour camera surveillance and lighting.

A helpful repair stand with tools and air pump with gauge inside each shelter makes it easier to combine your bike and Capital Metro commute.

A MetroBike repair stand
A MetroBike repair stand

Free bike racks will remain available outside these shelters.

Flatwork at Plaza Saltillo Station
Flatwork at Plaza Saltillo Station

Construction is underway at all new locations, and the shelters will open before the summer heat returns (Opening date to be announced soon). These shelters are made possible through an FTA Livability grant with match funding provided by the City of Austin. For more info go to http://www.capmetro.org/metrobike.

Cap Metro’s Future Rapid-ly Approaching

A sneak peak at the new MetroRapid vehicle.
A sneak peak at the new MetroRapid vehicle.

It’s been said that great cities have great public transportation systems, and with the upcoming launch of MetroRapid, the booming Central Texas region will be one step closer to realizing that goal.

Capital Metro pulled back the curtain Thursday, allowing members of the media to get an up close and personal look at the new MetroRapid vehicles before they hit the streets in early 2014 (although you’ll be seeing some of the buses around town over the next few months for testing purposes).

“This is a service we’re going to be able to introduce to the community unlike any they’ve seen before in Central Texas,” Capital Metro President and CEO Linda S. Watson said. “This is such an exciting time for Capital Metro.”

Cap Metro President & CEO Linda Watson with a new MetroRapid vehicle.
Cap Metro President & CEO Linda Watson with a new MetroRapid vehicle.

Continue reading “Cap Metro’s Future Rapid-ly Approaching”